Wednesday, July 30, 2008


We're in the house and on the way to a new normal...I guess. Moving has been a big transition, but a good one. We're still trying to figure out how we'll fit in the lives of family and old friends.

Who will we hang out with on a regular basis? Do we really need a new dishwasher? How often will we see parents and siblings without driving each other up the wall? How will we serve in our parish and community? Do we get the full out cable or the HD rabbit ears? All questions to be answered in the months to follow. The Babe will be out in the world in a good 10 weeks as well, which will only mean MORE transition and more questions to be answered. Or maybe they'll just continue to be unknowns for a while, and we'll wait for the path to be revealed to us.

Last week, a close friend of ours was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer. It's in the early stages and there is much hope that he will live for years to come. The things of life that really matter rise to the surface when you encounter mortality and its seemingly grim realities. Suddenly, which TV channels to pay for or not pay for seems rather ridiculous.

Psalm 119:109-112
My life is always at risk, but I do not forget your teaching.
The wicked have set snares for me, but from your precepts I do not stray.
Your decrees are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.
My heart is set on fulfilling your laws; they are my reward forever.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Elbow Grease

Pardon my spotty, infrequent posting. I'm spending most of my days unpacking and organizing so that the kitchen (and other rooms) can go from this:

To this:

Note: Neither of these are actually my kitchen, but you get the idea...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

On Being Home

Last week Kevin and I were on vacation with his fam on Lake Michigan, hence the long no-posting streak. Here's a pic of Kevin and his mom during a fabulous sunset.

Here's another beauteous shot:

On that pictoral note, I am really glad to be back near the Great Lakes. I grew up in a small town on Lake Michigan, and now that I am back from being away for a few years, I realize that there is a peace, beauty, and comfort that I experience on her shores that I have not found anywhere else.

During the past week, I was also reminded how different the lake appears every day. There are clear, sunny afternoons when the light bounces off the choppy water like sparkling diamonds, and other days when the haze and clouds make it difficult to discern where the sky ends and the water begins, and still others when thunder clouds roll toward the shore with their lightning bolting into the water. Like all of life, whether you are basking in the sun or under the clouds in the rain, whether you are joyful or in pain, there is always beauty to experience. You just need to have eyes for it.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I think Kevin's paternal instincts are starting to kick in. The other night, he decided to tuck the dog in. Yes, that's weird, even for him. He really does love the dog, as evidenced here and here. My only explanation is that he's preparing to do the same for the baby. Though I promise that we will not be crating our child at night. Cribs and bassinets only!

When Little Things Become Uber-Things

One thing I've noticed with pregnancy is the tendency to give uber-attention to things that do not really warrant uber-attention. Discussions about which infant carseat to register for, a change in the time we go to the beach, and Pizza Hut losing my pineapple pizza order have become blow-ups rivaling that of Mt. St. Helens.

As Kevin and I prepare to close on our home in Michigan, we have been discussing many potential improvements. I have become obsesssed new carpet--through the whole house. The current carpet is a neutral color and of high quality, but it is just not the color I prefer. For the last few weeks, I have not been able to stomach living in a house with this carpet. So the quest for new carpet began.

When I had a carpet installer come to the house yesterday to give me an estimate, he mentioned that the current carpet is a thick-pile wool, with 1/2 inch pad. It is definitely nicer than the lower-end nylon carpet I would use to replace it.

A short litany of questions my sister, a penny pincher at heart, used to recite while shopping at the mall when we were kids started to stream through my consciousness:

Do you need it?
Do you want it?
Is it really worth the price?

The catch with my sister's buyer's quiz is if you answer the majority of the questions with "no," then you shouldn't make the purchase. Alas, this was definitely a "majority no" situation. After tearily confirming the results of Beth's Buyer's Quiz with Kevin, my pregnant brain was finally able to let go of the new carpet in favor of a deep cleaning of the current carpet as well as other necessary improvements. Miracles do happen.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Happy Independence Day

Better late than never, I always say.

Kevin and I spent the weekend at my mother's house. The weather was beautiful and the days relaxing...minus the occasional dog kafuffle. Here's a picture of my mom's dog and Buck in action. They've reached a truce of sorts since then.

Here are some pictures from fireworks at the beach. We got a new camera a few weeks ago and it has a "fireworks" setting which gives you a longer exposure. Kind of interesting, but I missed the first few minutes of the show trying to capture a good picture.

I hope your weekend was fabulous and a celebration of what it means to be truly free!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

On a More Gracious Note

Today is the feast day of St. Thomas the Apostle, and I happened to attend daily mass at St. Thomas the Apostle parish today. It was especially festive, and there were ice cream treats for all afterwards.

Almighty and everliving God, who strengthened your apostle Thomas with sure and certain faith in your Son's resurrection: Grant us so perfectly and without doubt to believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, that our faith may never be found wanting in your sight; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.



[WARNING: May contain some rant-like language.]

I must say that the Extended Stay is less than satisfactory these days. We have some "neighbors" that moved in a few days ago. I cannot figure out if they are below us or next to us, but regardless of their location, they are LOUD. At 3:30am. During my frequent trips to the bathroom, I hear loud BANGS. Is someone taking a flying leap off the bed? Attempting to lower the footrest on the ghetto recliner (a frightening experience)? Slamming the bathroom door? Slipping in the tub? These are the things I ponder as I lay awake in bed, listening to the banging and our reactionary dog's barks and growls. If I knew who this person was, I'd thank them for allowing me to share in the insomnia.

In all fairness, one perk of the Extended Stay is "membership" at a fitness club down the street. Kevin and I belonged to the Y back in New York, and it's nice to have a place to go and work out when it's blistering hot or raining. Yesterday was my second trip to the gym and I rode the stationary bike and took advantage of the lap pool. I used to lifeguard at a local recreation center when we lived in Michigan previously, and many of my coworkers would mention that if people wanted the muscle-bound, spandex clad atmosphere, they would get a membership at this particular gym, even though it was at least twice the price of the recreation center. Now that I've been to this place, I don't think it's any nicer. Really. The cardio room and weight rooms are loaded tightly with machines; bad Justin Timberlake and Beyonce music is piped through the whole place, and there's minimal space set aside for stretching. I'm also convinced that the faux-hawked, Under Armour wearing personal trainers outnumber the patrons actually working out. In conclusion, I would never spend the money on this place. But if it's free, it's for me!